'I hope he's back very soon' - England players desperate for Ben Stokes to rejoin team after Ashes drubbing

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For all the twists of the Ashes series, perhaps the biggest turning point occurred outside a Bristol pub back in September.

Ben Stokes bats

Source: Photosport

As England begin their Ashes post-mortem in the wake of their 4-0 thumping at the hands of Australia, a major focus will be the absence of Ben Stokes.

The controversial all-rounder was missed with both bat and ball as England crumbled to hand back the urn inside three Tests.

Stokes was banished amid an investigation after he was arrested for his part in an incident during the West Indies ODI series in England last year.

On Monday, the England Cricket Board announced Stokes will return for the three- way Twenty20 series to be played in Australia and New Zealand to start later in the month.

Stokes boasts best bowling figures of 6-99 in Australia and a career batting average of 35.72.

His absence was sorely felt.

Anderson admitted Stokes was missed however refused to call it the reason for their series loss.

"When you're missing a player like that, it can affect your output," Anderson said.

"It's no secret that he's one of the best all-rounders in the world; on his day he's as good as anyone with bat and ball.

"We're going to miss a player like that. I hope he's back very soon.

"From our point of view, this series, it's not affected the way we've gone about our business."

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